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9/30/2016 - Jackson, Miss.

With competitions, you cannot win if you do not enter and, with college, you cannot attend if you do not apply. October is College Application Month, putting the spotlight on the applications process and kicking off College Countdown MS events. Throughout the month, events will be held across the state to help high school students apply for college.

Applying to college is the first step on the journey to a college degree, but many students are not sure how to apply or where to turn for help. These events will help students answer those questions and put them on the road to success in the college classroom and beyond. The schedule includes the following stops:

  • Biloxi High School – October 12
  • Broad Street High School – October 11, 12, 18, and 24
  • Clarksdale High School – October 13 and 19
  • Coahoma Agricultural High School – October 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28
  • D’Iberville High School – October 12
  • Gautier High School – October 14 and 26
  • George County High School – September 28
  • Greenville High School – October 24, 25, 26, and 27
  • Gulfport High School – October 12
  • Meridian High School – October 26, 27, and 28
  • New Albany High School – October 25
  • O’Bannon High School – August 31
  • Ocean Springs High School – October 20
  • Pass Christian High School – October 13
  • Riverside High School – October 12
  • Shaw High School – October 18 and 20
  • St. Martin High School – September 15 and October 31
  • South Delta High School – October 10, 11, 18, and 19
  • Stone County High School – October 19 and 20
  • Vancleave High School – September 28 and 29
  • Yazoo County High School – October 12, 13, and 14

College Countdown MS is part of a national effort, the American College Application Campaign, that shares the goal of easing the admissions and enrollment process for students, particularly first-generation and low-income students, and ensure that they apply to at least one postsecondary institution.

Partners in College Countdown MS include the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Community College Board, the Mississippi Department of Education, State Office of Student Financial Aid, the College Knowledge Project, Mississippi Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers (MACRAO), the Get2College Program of Education Services Foundation, and The City of Jackson INYTMI (I Need You To Make it) Youth Initiative. School districts from across the state have committed to participating in College Countdown MS, including Jackson Public Schools, Delta area districts, districts in the coastal region and the Meridian Public School District.

Some of the activities planned for students include Application Day, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Days, and College Signing Day, which is designed to replicate the excitement of athletic signing days. Many of the activities will occur during the school day and focus on students who might not otherwise apply to college.

The work in Mississippi will be supported in part by a grant acquired by the Get2College Program of Education Services Foundation from the National College Access Network (NCAN) and announced at today’s training.  Get2College competed with 118 cities nationwide on behalf of the city of Jackson, winning a $55,000 grant to increase the FAFSA completion rate in Jackson Public Schools.  Get2College will partner with JPS in a city-wide, cross-sector campaign to get seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the first step in acquiring financial aid for college. The FAFSA Challenge Grant is funded by The Kresge Foundation.

Get2College provided six training events with more than 125 volunteers in September. Representatives from seven public universities, 10 community colleges, Phi Theta Kappa staff members and high school counselors attended the training. These volunteers will assist high school students and families with FAFSA completion.

More information on College Countdown MS is available online: get2college.org/collegecountdownms.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Education Services Foundation (ESF), founded in 1995 as a non-profit foundation, exists to help Mississippians achieve a better life through education by providing services and philanthropic grants, while building permanent charitable capital. The Foundation’s Get2College program provides more than 40,000 students and parents with free college planning services annually in the Get2College Centers in Jackson, Ocean Springs, and Southaven and in high schools throughout the state.  Education Services Foundation is based in Jackson, Mississippi, and works throughout the state of Mississippi. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. For more information, visit get2college.org.

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